Decorating can be pricey, and custom decor even more so. However, if you are like me, being stuck at home for the past four months (and counting) is really pressuring my “itch to switch”. A large doormat like the one I made could cost you in upwards of $30 plus shipping on Etsy. Now don’t get me wrong, those people deserve that money, because it requires a bit skill to do this right. If you follow my instructions and take your time, you can make your own mat for much much less depending on what you already have at home!
SVG cut file or make your own on Cricut or Silhouette- I’ll link some of my designs below
Find your perfect design. At the bottom I will link some cute one’s I made on illustrator that can be used on Cricut or Silhouette
Measure out how big you need your design. If your design is bigger than your cutting mat then I suggest slicing your image at a good mid point. Cut on stencil vinyl setting.
Peel off the entire sheet of stencil vinyl. It is ok if the positive, AKA the words, stay on the page. just be careful not to loose the middle of letters like the “o”, “d”, “e”, etc.
Then place entire sheet on your rug. Make sure to place it centered both vertically and horizontally. As well as make sure if you had to split the image that you space that correctly.
Use pins and painters tape to hold down stencil and inside of letters to rug.
Take your brush and press paint down into rug. I like to lightly mark the stencil and then remove it and fill in the spaces without the stencil in place.
I like to saturate the paint so that no part of the coir shows where the design is. We have had a rug I made outside for 10 months and it hasn’t faded a bit, so I think that helps.
Finally, let dry and make sure to layer it on top of a larger woven rug right on your doorstep! This one would be great for the smaller coir mat.
My biggest advice to you, is TAKE YOUR TIME! If you are not confident in vinyl and moving it around, another way I’ve done this successfully is by using poster board and taping it down. I think the best trick is to make sure you lightly mark the stencil and then remove and fill it in. It’s easy to accidentally get paint under the stencil so I try to avoid doing that at all costs. Most important of all, have fun! And for those of you who aren’t crafty, I will link some cute rugs you can buy from the hard working peeps on Etsy!
On a socially distanced wine night in April, a girlfriend of mine and I shared our woes over vacations cancelled. That is when we hatched a plan to escape the Dallas suburbs and drive down to the Texas coast. Surely, by June things would be better and worst case we would just cancel! Lucky for us, it was the perfect socially distanced vacation.
Every time we each told someone we were heading to Galveston Island, people were hesitant and warned us that it wasn’t like a Florida beach. Don’t get your hopes up was often said. We honestly became nervous but trucked on. Marielle had been told by a couple of different friends that they love the Jamaica Beach area and mostly Pointe West. So, we went in blind and trusted them and VRBO.
When first getting onto Galveston Island we were immediately reminded of Daytona Beach or Cocoa in Florida. They’re fun beaches, more so for a spring break crowd, but a little too crowded for our taste. As you continue south another 20 miles you notice the scenery changes. Gone are the motels and roadside parking. There’s mostly pastures to your right and homes on stilts with ocean views to your left. I couldn’t get over the juxtaposition of wildflowers and cows on one side with pretty homes and natural beaches on the other. After being cooped up at home for three months, it felt like heaven!
Pointe West is a resort with privately owned residences and condos spread out over around 1000 acres of beach front land. The Beach Club houses a pool, fishing pier, fitness center, and restaurant. The Sunset Pool houses a pool with beach views, a hot tub, and a lazy river. We stayed in the residences at a private home called Las Brisas. Most are two stories, but some are one or three. Ours was two stories and had 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. One of the rooms had two bunk beds with the bottom bunk being full size. We loved the two balconies that overlooked the little pond and felt like the home was just perfect for two families with two kids each.
Like I mentioned before Galveston itself is more of a tourist spot and tends to feel a little shabby. The Pointe West area of the island, is really only homes and condos. You have to drive a little ways to go to the grocery store or to a restaurant, but that’s fine. We were totally prepared for that, and brought enough food and supplies to just stay home. There are little bridge passes that go over the natural dunes. I love it because being from Florida, it just looks so different sprinkled in with wildflowers and cactus. The beaches in this area were really secluded, you can’t drive on them, and really its only people who are staying in the homes or condos who use them. They’re wide spread and full of soft sand. My only complaint is that this sand is so fine it really ends up everywhere. You will 100% eat sand at some point, just get used to it. The water was PERFECT. No, it wasn’t crystal blue, but it was perfectly tepid and very shallow for a long ways out. The wind is always blowing and the waves are the best combination of low and choppy. We literally just rolled around or sat in the water for hours. The kids boogie boarded and jumped waves galore. It was indeed heavenly.
Another thing we were warned about were bugs. I have to say, in this particular area they weren’t a problem, not even during the dawn and dusk hours. We were able to enjoy beautiful sunsets walks on the beach and make s’mores under the stilts of the house without a hitch.
what we learned to pack
SO MUCH sunscreen
Canopy tent- it is SUNNY
Easy meals and snacks: lunchables, adult lunchables, sandwiches, burgers, fajitas, fruit, cereal, juice boxes, water, lots of wine and Whiteclaws etc. 😉
Lots of swimwear, you will want to wash them at night because that sand gets in your suits
and well I think you can figure out the rest!
For a quick trip to a family friendly beach in Texas, this is the one. At only an hour and half from Houston and five hours from Dallas, its close enough to be worth it. I’m glad we didn’t get deterred and listened to those who loved this area. We love it too!
It’s Pride month! 🌈 My mom always loved rainbows for their beautiful inclusion of all the colors. I think wearing rainbows is such a happy way to show support and remember that there’s always a rainbow after a storm. I noticed a trend in cute rainbow outfits and things so I figured why not round them up for all of us!
The Black Lives Matter movement is more than just a trend or a hashtag. We need to continue to teach our kids to see diversity and that starts in our homes. For the last couple of weeks I have been educating myself, having difficult conversations, and speaking up about systemic racism. I began to look in my own home and realized that though I preach diversity I don’t really exemplify it. I’m starting with adding more diversity in the girls’ playroom. Something that really stood out to me while I searched for more POC toys, was that there aren’t tons of choices. For example, it is difficult to find different black Kens or even options of dolls. There is just one black version of each toy and that’s it. Though we’re a long way to being completely inclusive in the options we have, I did also find some great things that will be a welcome addition to our home and could be to yours. Below I’ve linked things I’ve found.
All books about Black people shouldn’t be about the suffering that has occurred. That’s not to say don’t speak to your kids and use literature to help. I’m just saying it’s also important to highlight strong Black character leads.
Sulwe by Lupita Nyoung’o– “From Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.”
Making Voices Heard by Vivian Kirkfield– “This warm story emphasizes Ella’s role in her success, thus avoiding the trap of the white-savior narrative. Many white artists have benefited from imitating black ones; this is the rare narrative to acknowledge that… saturated with color, they capture the iconic looks of the two stars. A good volume to include in a larger conversation about friendship, allyship, and social justice.”-Kirkus Reviews
The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow– “This inventive book embeds the classic holiday ballet in the elegant Harlem Renaissance world of the 1920s…[Ransome’s] rich jewel-toned art makes both indoor scenes and the New York City night vibrate with life and holiday wonder.” (New York Times Book Review )
Just Us Women by Pat Cummings– “No boys and no men-just us women,” Aunt Martha tells her niece. And together they plan their trip to North Carolina in Aunt Martha’s brand-new car. This is to be a very special outing-with no one to hurry them along, the two travelers can do exactly as they please.
If Tiana is the only Black doll your kid has then you’re adding to the problem. We should continue to teach our kids that EVERYONE is beautiful even if they don’t look like us. If they don’t have toys that highlight different skin tones then they are already being trained to favor light skin.
My girls don’t have any black dolls. I don’t know if it’s because I never bought them so in turn they don’t ask for them. Either way I’m changing that. Here are some great finds that I know my girls would love. Remember it’s about loving all the dolls even if they don’t look just like you.
This brought me back to being a teacher. I love these skin color sets (which by the way Crayola is coming out with an improved set in July) that allow our kids to color people more than just peach or brown. Also, look at this skin color construction paper! It’s these little things that show our Black friends, students, or kids that their skin color matters too.
It’s just a start, but making sure my girls have toys of all colors helps them see color and respect it. We tend to pick what we are accustomed to so it’s important we start being diverse in our homes. These are small steps and lessons that will mold the way they act as adults. Hope this is helpful to you guys too!
When packing for any trip, I think it’s important to have things organized. Not only so you don’t forget things, but also so you can find them! Visiting the beach needs a whole other level of organization thanks to the many things we all love to take. Let me, literally, unpack my beach bag for you with OTG247. Click the pictures to shop as each style comes in all sorts of colors and patterns.
I have been working with OTG for over a year now. I was a customer before I was an influencer, so I can honestly say I love their products. Start your collection little by little, and you won’t regret it one bit. Use code CATALINA10 for 10% off your purchase!
Mother’s Day is 10 days away and since COVID19 is still rampant, it’s going to be celebrated differently. Here are some fun things you can send the mom in your life. Make sure to read below for discount codes and order deadlines!
Shop using any of the pictures or link in this post
Leatherology Crossbody- Bucket bag reminiscent of LV neo or Camera bag that resembles everyone’s favorite blogger bag. Both can be monogrammed. The hand paint and trapunto monograms are my favorite!
Use code LOVEMOM for 20% off
Order by May 1st
Cross Slippers– These have been on every single one of my gift lists for a while. They are by far my favorite and I wear them every single day during this quarantine season.
Check the address to see how quickly it’ll send, mine says 9 days with Prime
Coravin– This wine system allows you to open wine without uncorking it and can preserve wine for many years.
Mom Shirts– Pink Lily has so many cute mommy shirts
Get 20% off text PINKLILY to 76391
Taking between 10-12 day to be fulfilled so will be after mother’s day
Personalized necklace– Rightly Royce has been a long time favorite of mine. I love all their pieces and love supporting their family even more.
Get 20% off with MOM20
Order by May 1st with free shipping
Order by May 3rd with $10 shipping
Order by May 4th with $30 shipping
Nacre Watch– My favorite timepieces are from Nacre. I suggest buying one watch and an extra strap! I have the Lune 8 in gold and white with the sand leather strap and I have the stainless steel mesh band.
PEARL25 for 25% off and 10% goes to No Kid Hungry
All orders received by May 7th will make it in time for mothers day for FREE!
Sio Eye Patch– Since all the mamas are stuck at home, a little pick me up for the eyes is exactly what the doctor ordered. These little guys are the poor woman’s Botox, but in these uncertain times, that might be exactly what we need.
Naughty Brownies– The best brownies delivered to your door thanks to Miss Naughty Brownie!
MOM10for$10 off a box of 12 with code
YUM15for 15% off
DFW locals order by May 7th
Nationwide order by May 5th
Flowers- If flowers are your thing, which they totally are mine, then I think a beautiful flower arrangement can brighten anyone’s day! Bouqs offers gorgeous and unique arrangements. It looks like it’s easy to schedule for the Saturday before Mother’s Day.
Electric Lighter– Yup, a rechargeable electric lighter! Something positive from 2020!
Stackable Bracelets– Lio Jimenez makes these beautiful, trendy, and custom bracelets from home. They are the perfect addition to your daily outfit! Choose something fun or thoughtful, but you can’t go wrong.
Custom Hand Towels– Spruce up any space with some embroidered towels for the mom in your life. Because, let’s be serious all moms love a good pair of luxury hand towels to match their decor.
Skylight Frame– Perfect for family that lives far away, or even just stuck at home right now. We love our frame because I can keep current pictures in my living room without going through too much effort. My dad loves the one he has in his office because it surprises him with new pictures whenever I email them.
10SKY for 10% off
Arrives within 3 business days
Thank You Mom candle– Super cute and tasteful candle that literally says thank you. You can never go wrong with candles.
Says ships within 5-7 business days so I would jump on it!
Anxiety and depression. Hello old friend, I did not miss you. Are you dealing with mental health issues right now? New, continued, or resurfacing? I have been treating for anxiety, depression, and OCD since May 2019. I’m not sure when it all developed or if I’ve always been dealing with it. I just thought it was my normal and that everyone felt on edge, easily rattled, and upset all the time but just presented it better than I did. Fast forward to present time and COVID19, homeschooling preschoolers, a husband who works full time from our bedroom, social distancing, shelter in place, friends losing their jobs, businesses closing etc. I feel like those feelings I have learned to deal with are coming back to haunt me!
I like to write about what I know and in turn maybe help someone who feels alone in their personal struggles. If you have never considered yourself to have anxiety or depression I am here to debunk some common myths on what this diagnosis can look like. I am no expert, but this is what I have learned through my own battle with mental health.
Stigmas of depression I worked past:
Crying all day
Not getting out of bed
You can snap out of it if you try
It is always caused by some trauma
Only women can get depressed
What depression can be like:
Lack of desire to seek conversation
Wanting to stay home
Lack of motivation to do daily tasks
Moments of “normalcy” sprinkled with moments of sadness, disinterest, anger etc.
Feeling like you have to put on a mask to “be yourself”
Feeling inadequate or incapable
A normal person, who doesn’t share feelings outwardly but has all these feelings inside
Being sad, upset, mad, or lonely and sometimes there isn’t a tangible reason
Stigmas of anxiety I dealt with:
Worrying all the time
Someone who needs constant reassurance
You can snap out of it
Only induced by stress or trauma
What anxiety can be like:
Feeling like you can’t take a deep breath
Feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest
Stressing over doing things you’d do normally
Having a panic attack or floor you moments over simple situations
Not being able to move on to the next task without making sure a certain situation is settled
Thinking about scenarios constantly
Feeling like anything can trigger you
Not sharing feelings so that your family doesn’t give you more anxiety by trying to help
Feeling worried, scared, overwhelmed, nervous, or upset and sometimes there isn’t a tangible reason
Perception is close to the truth and these are some of the signs but definitely not all of them. Both anxiety and depression are very intricate diagnosis that present themselves differently in everyone. A good indication my psychologist once told me was, that if the way you are feeling is stopping you from being productive or enjoying things in your daily life, then that is when you need to seek help.
I know that I’m feeling a lot right now, even though I’m on an antidepressant and trying to take time for myself during these weird times. I even ordered CBD oil to take as an additional support, but I can’t shake the feelings I’m having. It got me thinking about all of us around the world. We are all locked in our homes, feeling helpless and fearful over the COVID pandemic. You too may be triggered right now and it’s ok to seek help. Whether it’s in the form of counseling, psychology, medication, exercise, meditation, yoga, herbal care etc, you need to find what works for you. If you feel like you are “out of character” or have many more “trigger” moments then I hope you take the time to find out how to protect your mental health today and every day.
The most ironic thing about being anxious or depressed is that in order to seek help you have to reach out of your comfort zone. I know it took me MONTHS to finally make a call to see a psychologist and it took many flooring panic attacks and maybe even YEARS of not being my “happiest” self. There are many different ways to seek help and I am just going to list what I’ve learned below:
Reach out to someone you know that has dealt with this. Talking to someone who understands mental health will help you try the next steps. I know talking to a good friend of mine about these feelings helped me realize they weren’t weird and that it was totally normal to need more help that just trying it on my own. She told me how she felt and what she did and I finally felt less alone.
Find a psychologist, counselor, psychiatrist, or even social worker. This takes time but, even meeting with one person is a step in the right direction. You may not talk to them every week, or maybe you will, but you should talk to someone to help you decipher your feelings.
Meet with your general practitioner and go over your symptoms. Sometimes issues can be hormonal or be caused by another imbalance. They can also start you on antidepressants or whatever it is that you may need.
Try an herbal solution like CBD oil or even cannabis in states that allow it. I used CBD before I seeked help. It definitely helped me with my anxiety but didn’t help with depression.
Have open and honest conversations with the ones you love. Even if it has to be written or via email. Explain how you feel, why you feel it, and then how they can help without causing more stress on you. You will need someone you can trust to say “I am not ok” and they get what you mean. I know I have called my husband a couple of times saying “I am not ok, I don’t feel good” and he knows that I am at my breaking point.
Give it time. You will not get better over night. It may take a lot of counseling, medication trials, herbal trials, combination of things, etc to find what it is you need to be your “healthiest”. I know for me the medication took about a month to fully set in, and even then we had to up my dosage. I did counseling for about a month and continued taking CBD until I ran out.
Try to be more active, sometimes this helps, sometimes it doesn’t. I wasn’t able to become active until my antidepressants settled into my system. There was no part of me that wanted to be outside or in a gym. Once I felt better, being active added even more happiness into my life.
Study Ayurveda or Enneagram to better understand yourself and the way you react to things. I learned a lot about my personality and how I respond to others and them to me. Being self aware is always important.
Don’t feel bad about putting yourself first. This was one of the most difficult changes for me. I always wanted to please my friends or even be the one to strike up a conversation with a stranger. At my lowest point it felt so difficult for me to do these things. I realized it was OK to just be quiet, or not go out of my way to see a friend on her time. It was when I put my needs first, that I was able to start the path to healing.
Give yourself grace. You won’t always feel the best, it won’t always be easy. Once you realize that the way you feel isn’t “healthy” then heading toward good mental health is your only goal. However, there is no time limit. Not a race, but a journey.
I have wanted to talk about my own depression and anxiety for a long time, but never had the guts to put it out there in public. Me, the extrovert, social butterfly, deals with anxiety and depression. How embarassing! Well, no it’s not. It is what it is, and I am thankful that I was able to find things that have helped me stay on a healthy path. I hope that if you feel that I’ve touched on something you are experiencing, that you take time to ask for help. The times we are in are putting stress on all of us, and this may affect the way we feel. Please if you need anything, and dont feel like you can talk to anyone you know. Reach out to me. I would gladly be your listening ear, sounding board, or just good old friend.